Following talks with Li Qiang, his Chinese counterpart, in Beijing on Monday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Hungary continues to be a good friend of China in central Europe with Budapest pinning high hopes on cooperation.
PM Orbán cited “a deeper, cultural root” of the “political friendship” between the two countries, noting that Hungary had been the first country in the former Soviet bloc to recognise China and the only country in central Europe that had consistently supported the One China principle. PM Orbán said that he, as the leader of the Hungarian opposition at the time, had held his first meeting with Xi Jinping in 2009 when Xi was China’s vice president. Talks with Xi, now China’s president, will be held on Tuesday, said PM Orbán, adding that it is going to be their seventh meeting, which “illustrates well the friendship between the two peoples”. “I will do my utmost to pursue a foreign policy towards China that follows duly in the footsteps of our predecessors.” After the talks, intergovernmental agreements were signed on bilateral projects implemented in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, on cooperation in the areas of education, industry and investment, and on technological development, digital economy and climate protection. PM Orbán will participate in the third Belt and Road Forum today and tomorrow.